Content Batching

Episode 130: Business Systems that Make Batch Week Possible

October 18, 2022

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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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Learn about the small business systems that I use to make my batch week possible so I can put out quality content month after month

Small Business Systems That Make Batch Week Possible

One of the most frequently asked questions I get about batch week is “how do you have time for it”? For many, it’s unfathomable that I can set aside one week each month just for creating content. And I’m about to blow your mind even further. Not only do I set aside one week each month for batching, but most months? I also take an entire week off for vacation. In all of 2022, there are only 3 months that I didn’t take a week off – and one of those 3 was August and I took a week for batch week AND a week for just guest interviews for the podcast.

So, how do I possibly do that, plus serve my clients well, plus generate sales and see business growth, plus run two businesses? It all comes down to the systems I have set up in my business. In fact, there are 6 different systems that I’ve set up that have helped immensely with being able to use my time in the most efficient ways, so that I can take time away from working IN the day to day of my business. And I’m going to share those with you today.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Make batching your content even easier with my Year’s Worth of Content Prompts
  • Are you looking to improve your content without spending a ton of time and mental energy doing so? Whether you’re looking for help knowing what to talk about, setting up content systems, or improving your launch strategy, the Chasing Simple Shop has something for you. From A Year of Content Prompts broken up by type of content, to my Launch Strategy Mini-Course – the Chasing Simple Shop is the quick and simple way to take your content to the next level. And you can get 10% off any item by using the code LISTENER at checkout! Just head to amandawarfield.com/shop/ and again, that code for 10% off is LISTENER!
  • This week’s action step: Choose just one of these systems to add in to your business, and start with the smallest possible step!
  • This week’s book recommendation: A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum. Follows the lives of 3 generations of Palestinian women and covers topics of generational trauma, family ties, the so-called American dream, and the incredible strength of women.
  • Honeybook (get 50% off your first year with this link)
  • Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield

Did you love this episode?

Don’t forget to subscribe so that you never miss an episode! Also, if you would be willing to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it would mean the world to me. It’s such a small thing that can make a big difference in helping me spread this message of simplicity to other overwhelmed women.

Have a comment about today’s episode, or a topic you’d like to suggest for a future episode? Shoot me an email over at hello@amandawarfield.com!

Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get about batch week is how do you have time for it? For many it’s unfathomable that I can set aside one week, each month just for creating content. I’m about to blow your mind even further. Not only do I set aside one week, each month for batching, but most months I also take an entire week off for vacation in all of 2022.

There are only three months where I didn’t take a week off. In addition to batch week. And one of those three was August and I took a week for batch week and a week for guest interviews for the podcast. So how do I possibly do that? Plus serve my clients well, plus generate sales and see business growth.

Plus run two businesses. It all comes down to the systems that I have set up in my business. In fact, there are six different systems that I’ve set up that have helped me immensely with being able to use my time in the most efficient ways so that I can take time away from. In the day to day of my business.

And I’m gonna share those with you today. You’re listening to episode 130 of the chasing symbol podcast. And I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. Let’s dive in.

A few things to note right off the bat, every system that I have created that I will create moving forward, every system and every decision I make with my business is. Decided and created with two things in mind, simplicity and intentionality, every new project I take on, I have to look at it through the lens of, is this actually going to move my business forward?

Does this intentionally make sense with where I’m going with? My business And then I also have to ask, how can I make it simple? How can I start off with just one simple step? And as I’m going through these six systems with you, I want you to really think through those lenses as well.

How can you start with just one simple step and we’ll go over that as I go through each system as well. I’m gonna give you some tips on that, but with everything that I’m doing in my business, those are the two most important things that I always consider. Now. I also just want to put it out there that.

At this point, I am running two businesses. I am taking a week for batch week. Every single month. I am taking usually another week off each month for vacation or travel or just because, and at this point, The help that I get. I’m no longer considering myself a solo entrepreneur. I outsource my podcast editing.

I’ve been doing that for a year, year and a half now, every now and then I will outsource an occasional one off project, like an SEO expert, or having a copywriter, write a sales page for me, things like that. And I just hired a virtual assistant last month as I’m recording this and she’s working five hours a month for me.

I say all of this so that, you know, I’m not doing this totally alone, but also I’m only taking a few hours off of my plate each month. And honestly, I’m not replacing that with more work for the most part, the one off projects, those are things that I would have to take other projects off my plate for, but the podcast editing, I didn’t add more content in when I outsourced the podcast editing, I just

spent one less day during batch week working the stuff the VA is doing for me, same thing for the most part, she’s doing content scheduling for me at this point. And I’m just doing less during batch week. I’m still taking the same amount of time off, but I just wanna throw that out there. That is the reality of where my business is at right now, but I was taking a batch week for years before I started to outsource

anything, and these systems that I’m going to talk about today are what made that possible. So the first one from the very beginning

and within that. And a basic premise of how I’ve run my business is that sure I could put in more time, more work, do more, to see faster, quicker growth, but I would rather take time off, have a really flexible schedule. Pour into myself, have plenty of time with my husband and his changing schedule and see slower growth year after year, then work a ton of hours and try to see faster growth.

So. that is why I’m okay. And I really think a lot of, as much as these systems are going to help the mindset around taking that step back is a huge obstacle for most people. And what is really the problem when they’re asking, well, how can you take a whole week off for content? It’s a mindset thing because they’re afraid to let go of what they’re already doing.

but here are some systems that have helped six systems that have helped me to step back and be able to just set aside a week and only focus on content batching. So the first system is that from the very beginning, I was really, really intentional about my client scheduling and my client structure. So I knew from the very beginning that I did not want to constantly.

be doing client work. Am I always available for my clients? Yes. Am I on a weekly basis, checking in with them, auditing their content, giving feedback. Absolutely, but I’m not meeting with them and doing the heavy lifting on a weekly basis. What I do with my clients is we meet on a quarterly basis. The last month of every quarter is always going to be a heavy client focused month and the other two are going to be lighter.

I also made it so that all of my client work for the most part happens on Mondays. So I, from the beginning, I sat down and said, Here’s what I wanna do for my clients. How can I structure this in a way so that it makes sense for them, but also for the business that I want to run. I heard so many horror stories when I was starting my business of people who were cautioning others against taking on too many clients. And a lot of it was from the perspective of, you’re never gonna be able to scale your business if all you’re doing is working with your clients. But I took that even though, yes, I wanna scale my business and that’s an important aspect of what I’m doing.

I took that as I don’t wanna be working constantly. And feel burnt out all the time because otherwise I would just keep teaching if I’m just gonna work all the time, I, and I’m going to be essentially working for someone else. I might as well keep teaching. So from the very beginning, really intentional about how I structured my client packages.

If you already are in a place where you have set client packages and you are working constant. one thing you can do here is to take a day or two, take some time, take a step back out of your business and really think how can I deliver the same or a similar result in a way that takes up less of my time, or if it’s not less time, but how can I structure it?

so that I’m not working on it as often. And maybe that means you have to take on less clients. Okay. Well, if you have to take on less clients, you’re going to need to raise your pricing. So then what do you want your pricing to look like and what pricing makes sense for how much time you’re going to be pouring into them for the result that you’re giving them.

But also how much time you’re going to take for client work any given week or month. , there are a lot of V IP day structures out there that people are really pushing and that’s a great way to do the same kind of thing of, okay, I’m gonna work on client work this many days a month, and I just need to sell this many spots

that’s one way to do it again. I did more of a quarterly ongoing package. There are a lot of different ways that you can do this, and I’m not gonna pretend to be able to list all of them. Get creative and think, how can I get deliver this result, deliver this transformation in a way that is more appropriate for how I want my business to run.

And then the first step with that, if we’re looking at it from a simplicity aspect, is what’s the first step that you need to take in order to be able to make that change. That’s it just, what’s the very first step. Maybe that’s changing your. website your service page on your , website to reflect the new option.

Maybe it’s updating your brochure, whatever that may look like, take that first step. That’s it.

But I want you to ask yourself, how often do you actually want to be working on client work? And there is a side of this where you have to consider that maybe you have to take a step back in how much revenue your clients are bringing in for you in order to take steps forward. And if that’s the case, you may need to prepare your business to take that hit those are considerations you’ll have to make, but sometimes you do have to take steps back in order to take steps forward in your business.

but doing less client work, it’s not only gonna help with being able to do batch week. It’s gonna help with being able take time off and it’s going to help with being able to work on needle moving projects. So the next system that I have in place is my themed work days. So every aspect of what I do in my business essentially fits into.

Four or five categories. So I have my client work category one. I have my content marketing category two. I have my projects, whatever that may be at the moment, category three. And then I’ve got my administration stuff. Category four now. There are other things, obviously like networking, things like that. I just, those get lumped into marketing, but essentially I broken my business down into four categories.

Well, now marketing. I don’t need as much time for, because I batch out my content, but there are still some marketing things that I need to do on a weekly basis and, or at least a couple times a month, like preparing for speaking engagement, so on and so forth.

So that’s one theme today is my marketing because I don’t need as much time for that. I usually lump it into my client day and I can get both done in one day, unless it’s that third month of the quarter in which that’s just pretty much all clients all month to be quite honest. The project, a, any project I’m working on, that’s not an ongoing weekly couple times a week type thing, like creating launch stuff.

Working on my book, working on a new website, any type of project that is going to do something to improve my business falls into that theme administrative stuff is just that stuff that needs to get done on that weekly, daily basis kind of thing. and then clients, you already know how that works. So those are the four categories that I’ve broken my business down into. I theme each Workday to one of those categories. which has been super helpful. One for keeping me on track, if I’m working on all of similar tasks for one day, I’m able to knock out those tasks more quickly because my brain is in that, that marketing mode let’s say, or that project mode.

And it gives me just one or two things to focus on on any given day. So it helps me move more quickly through what I need to get done, but it also makes it really easy to have a flexible schedule. So previously I had attached those. Different themes to a certain day of the week. And that worked really, really well worked super well.

Monday was clients and marketing. Tuesdays was always projects for this business. Wednesdays was always projects for my magical escape, vacations business. And then Thursdays was always administrative tasks for both businesses. So when I got to each day of the week, I knew what I was working on. And once I finished those tasks for that week, they didn’t get worked on again until the next week. now that my husband has a more flexible schedule. I’m able to still be really intentional about what I’m working on each day, because I can just take those theme days and essentially pop them into a different day of the week.

So if he has Wednesday and Thursday off one week, well, I can go. Okay. Monday marketing and client Tuesday, Amanda Warfield business projects, Wednesday off Thursday off Friday. Magical escape, vacation projects Saturday. Administration so on and so forth and I can just move them around. So that is a system that has given me a ton of flexibility.

It helps me get through my projects faster, get through all of my tasks faster. It makes sure that I’m touching all of the different areas of my business. And if I don’t do one of those theme days for a week, or do any of them for a week, it’s not the end of the world because I know I’m making progress on them on a consistent basis.

Now, this simplicity side of things comes in here. When we’re looking at how much we’re putting on our plates at any given time. So if I know I only have one day a week to work on projects. Well, I know that realistically, I can only ever handle one, maybe two projects max, and that way I’m able to stay really laser focused and make really good progress on each project each and every month.

The same with marketing. I know that I can only take in so many networking calls a month. I know that I can only. Realistically do so many speaking engagements each month because I only have really one to two days a month to work on those things. And it’s amazing what you can get done in one to two days a month, if that’s all you’re devoting in your time to, but it helps me keep it simple and keep my expectations for myself and my business.

low. Now the third system I have in place is how I flow throughout the days. I personally am a morning person. I work best in the morning. My brain is most ready and willing to get through things. First thing in the morning. So when I sit down to work, I start the first hour of every Workday working on whatever my business needs.

At that time I don’t open email. I don’t look at client requests. I don’t do anything. Except work on my own business, whatever that task for that theme today may be that my business needs. Then I spend a few hours working on whatever tasks are lined up for that day, based on whatever the theme of that day is.

After I have lunch, I usually take a break. I need a nap. I take a walk. I will usually plan meetings for the afternoon because I don’t need as much mental capacity for those. and then whatever time I have left, I work on whatever else is on that list for that theme day. And that’s how my days flow.

Knowing what my energy levels are and what my peak productivity times are, has been really, really helpful for getting more done in the simplest way possible. If you are not a morning person, if you get your peak in the evening, maybe set your day up like that, you need to consider what your peak productivity looks like and what your schedule can allow.

If let’s say you’re like, well, evening sounds great, but I have kids, Amanda, so that’s not gonna work. Okay. Well, what’s your. Most peaked productivity. If your kids are your priority, which if you have them, they should be right. But if they’re your priority at your peak productivity time, great. What’s your second peak productivity time.

Plan the bulk of your work for that time of day, use your priorities and use your energy levels to create a flow throughout your day. That is natural. And that doesn’t make you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall, because if you can get through your projects and your tasks more quickly and more efficiently, you’re going to have way more time to rest.

the fourth system that I have in place is honestly just using honey book for as much as possible. There is a link in the show notes. If you are looking for a CRM tool where you can get honey book for 50% off for your first year, it is an affiliate link. but if you’re looking for a CRM tool, it is a great way to save some money. So. Honey book, obviously, clients, if you have clients having a CRM tool is going to save you a ton of time because you don’t have to keep creating new questionnaires, new workflow, everything is in one place for you and you set it up once and you continue to iterate on it.

But for the most part, it’s kind of a one and done type thing, and it having a system for how you serve your clients, helps you serve them more quickly, more efficiently. It makes all the difference in the world with how much time you have to spend on those clients. Now I also use honey book, every chance I get anything that is going to need a workflow, particularly one, that’s going to involve questionnaires, emails, gathering of information, things like that.

I set it up in honey book. So I’ve used honey book for the summits that I’ve hosted, keeping track of all of the speakers. All of that happened inside of honey. All of their contracts, all of the information I gathered for them, everything happened inside of honey book, the scheduling, they did all of those tools that I needed were natively in honey book.

So I said, well, I’m just gonna do that through there. And it made it so easy because I could set up the questionnaire that I needed once I could set up the scheduling tool. Once I could set up the. workflow of all the things that I needed from speakers and all the things I needed to do for the speakers in one place and just apply it to every speaker as a client.

And it syncs all of your different calendars together. so a client couldn’t schedule over a summit guest and vice versa. It’s all linked together so that you don’t have to. Run interference between all of your different scheduling tools. Another thing that I use honey book for is my podcast guest interviews.

I can put the questionnaire for all of those podcast guests in that one spot. I have the workflow for all of my podcast interviews in one spot. I have all of the information that I need from these guests. And then I can track where their episode is in my timeline, because again, I do one or two interview weeks, every year.

That’s it. I record a ton of guest interviews and then I have to keep track of, okay, I have this done for this one, this done for this one, this done for this one, having it all set up in honey book saves me so much time. So any way that you can use your CRM tool, try to think outside of the box in how it can improve other aspects of your business.

If there’s a workflow aspect and you’re collaborating with another person, your CRM tool is going to be a great way for you to save some time. 

Fifth system, turn everything into a template. If you are ever going to use anything more than once turn into a template. If there’s an email you’re gonna write more than once turn into a template. That way you can just copy paste or choose the template, whatever that may be and save yourself a ton of time.

I get requests in my inbox on a daily basis. that are pitches for podcast guests. again, I only record an interview once or twice a year. At this point, I’m looking at once a year to do guest interviews. So most of the time I’m either saying no, or I’m saying not right now. I have one template that I send to every single podcast pitch where I basically say thank you so much for sending in this potential guest. I am not recording interviews anytime soon. If I feel like this is a good fit, I’ll reach out again. And then I will either move them into a folder that says potential guests, or I will delete.

if I know that was not a good pitch, it’s not right for my audience. I’ll delete it. If it’s someone that I’m like, mm, this might actually be a good fit. I move them into that potential. And then the next time that I am gonna run interviews, I just open up that folder and I have all the pitches from however long ago.

that I can pull from if I choose to. And that’s just one example, but it makes the process so much faster so that I’m not every single time I get one of those requests in my inbox, typing out an email saying, Hey, I’m not recording right now. I don’t even have to think I just two clicks reply. And then I click the three clicks, I guess, reply template.

And then I click the template that I want and that’s really it. So anytime you’re going to do anything more than once create a template, email templates are one example. Another template would be templates for graphics. If you look at my Instagram or the graphics in my blog, they’re all the same. The words are just different in the images are different, but I use a template so that when I go to create graphics, it’s so fast, I can create.

Five different Pinterest images for every podcast episode in less than 30 minutes for the entire month. Because I have templates and I’m just switching out a couple things, same thing for content. If you have, you know, I’m gonna put out a new podcast episode. Well, I have templates galore for my podcast episodes inside of my Trello board for the podcast.

I have templates in my Google docs of how I’m gonna format my emails and how I’m gonna form my social media. If I’m doing something more than once I automatically turn it into a template. And then as I improve what I’m doing, I just improve that template. And so. One there’s cohesion, but two, it saves a ton of time.

And then the last system, this is so meta, but batch week in and of itself is a huge reason that I’m able to make batch week possible. And I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out by taking the time, which at first was kind of strange. It does take some getting used to, but taking the time to set aside that week to say I’m only creating content freed up so much time throughout the other three weeks of the month, that I was able to make enough progress on all the things I was working on.

That was no longer an issue to take that week off or to take two weeks off because I’m still making so much progress because creating content prior to batch. Took up way more time than I ever realized that it did. So if you can experiment and try to do a batch week, it’s going to save you so much more time, especially once you get the hang of it and you are able to get all that content done and you’re not having to create content moving forward.

So those six systems first. getting really intentional about how you’re setting up your client packages and your scheduling so that you are able to not have to work with your clients all the time. Two themed work days, three, having an intentional flow throughout the day where I prioritize my energy levels, four using honey book for as much as possible five, turning everything into a template and six batch week.

those six systems help me make batch week possible month after month after month without feeling like I’m neglecting any other parts of my business. So your action step for this week is to choose just one of these systems to add into your business, and then start with the smallest possible step. Just choose one, whether it’s transforming your client packages, whether.

Implementing themes days, whether it’s improving the way that you work throughout the day, whether it’s getting started with the CRM tool, whether it’s turning things into templates, whether it’s just starting with batch week itself, choose one and just get started and see how it saves you so much time and energy, and then creates more space for you to take time off and to do a batch week and to not have to work.

So dang much. now this week’s book recommendation is A Woman, Is No Man. And I don’t even want to try to pronounce this name because I will butcher it and that’s not fair to her. So the links in the show notes, but basically this book follows the lives of three different generations of Palestinian women, and it covers topics of generational trauma, family ties. Cultural ties the so-called American dream and just the incredible strength that we have as women. So highly recommend that book. That link will be in the show notes as well as the link to get 50% off of your first year in honey book. If you have any follow up questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I’m happy to chat about the best way that you can implement these systems or that one system that you’ve chosen. I’m happy to chat further about it. So. and with that, I hope that you go out and Uncomplicate your life and biz. 

Hey friend! Just a head’s up — this post may contain affiliate links!

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